scinapse is loading now...

Realism, Antirealism, and Conventionalism about Race

Published on Dec 1, 2014in Philosophy of Science 0.97
· DOI :10.1086/678314
Jonathan Michael Kaplan11
Estimated H-index: 11
,
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther14
Estimated H-index: 14
Abstract
This paper distinguishes three concepts of “race”: bio-genomic cluster/race, biological race, and social race. We map out realism, antirealism, and conventionalism about each of these, in three important historical episodes: Frank Livingstone and Theodosius Dobzhansky in 1962, A. W. F. Edwards’s 2003 response to Lewontin’s 1972 paper, and contemporary discourse. Semantics is especially crucial to the first episode, while normativity is central to the second. Upon inspection, each episode also reveals a variety of commitments to the metaphysics of race. We conclude by interrogating the relevance of these scientific discussions for political positions and a post-racial future.
  • References (53)
  • Citations (14)
Cite
References53
Newest
Published on Jul 23, 2014
Nicholas Wade3
Estimated H-index: 3
66 Citations
Published on Apr 1, 2014in Journal of Research in Science Teaching 3.21
Brian M. Donovan6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Stanford University)
Race has been a longstanding topic in the biology textbook curriculum. Yet, there appears to be no research investigating whether the treatment of race in modern biology textbooks impacts how students conceptualize race. In the present study, a double-blind field experiment employing mixed-methods is used to investigate the impact of textbook-based genetics learning on essentialist conceptions of race amongst adolescents. The study was carried out in an eighth grade classroom in a California Bay...
24 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2013in Philosophy of Science 0.97
Matthew J. Barker6
Estimated H-index: 6
,
Joel D. Velasco7
Estimated H-index: 7
We reject a widespread objectivism about kinds of evolutionary groups in favor of a new conventionalism. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This novel pluralism underlies almost any single evolutionary group concept, unlike familiar pluralisms claiming that multiple concepts of certain sorts are legitimate. Consequently, we must help objective facts determine which candidate evolutionary...
9 Citations Source Cite
In his criticism of my paper on the concept of race (Sesardic, 2010), Adam Hochman raises many issues that deserve further clarification. First, I will comment on Hochman’s claim that I attack a straw man version of racial constructionism. Second, I will try to correct what I see as a distorted historical picture of the debate between racial naturalists and racial constructionist s. Third, I will point out the main weaknesses in Hochman’s own defense of constructioni sm about race. And fourth, I...
13 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 2, 2013
Pascale Gerbault12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University College London),
Mark G. Thomas79
Estimated H-index: 79
(University College London)
This article is a revision of the previous edition article by J.L. Mountain, volume 10, pp. 6984–6991, © 2001, Elsevier Ltd.
67 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2013in Biological Theory
Quayshawn Spencer7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Stanford University)
In Kaplan and Winther’s recent article (Biol Theory. doi: 10.1007/s13752-012-0048-0, 2012) they argue for three bold theses: first, that “it is illegitimate to read any ontology about ‘race’ off of biological theory or data”; second, that “using biological theory to ground race is a pernicious reification”; and, third, that “race is fundamentally a social rather than a biological category.” While Kaplan and Winther’s theses are thoughtful, I show that the arguments that their theses rest on are ...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2013in Biological Theory
Jonathan Michael Kaplan11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Oregon State University),
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of California)
It is illegitimate to read any ontology about “race” off of biological theory or data. Indeed, the technical meaning of “genetic variation” is fluid, and there is no single theoretical agreed-upon criterion for defining and distinguishing populations given a particular set of genetic variation data. By analyzing three formal senses of “genetic variation,” viz., diversity, differentiation, and heterozygosity, we argue that the use of biological theory for making claims about race inevitably amoun...
34 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2013in The Journal of Philosophy
Adam Hochman5
Estimated H-index: 5
(University of Sydney)
23 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2012in Philosophical Studies
Quayshawn Spencer7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of San Francisco)
A curious ambiguity has arisen in the race debate in recent years. That ambiguity is what is actually meant by ‘biological racial realism’. Some philosophers mean that ‘race is a natural kind in biology’, while others mean that ‘race is a real biological kind’. However, there is no agreement about what a natural kind or a real biological kind should be in the race debate. In this article, I will argue that the best interpretation of ‘biological racial realism’ is one that interprets ‘biological ...
22 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2012in Journal of Theoretical Biology 1.83
Omri Tal3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Tel Aviv University)
Abstract The cumulative effect of markers on classification accuracy, with even slight between-population allele frequency differences, has been a mainstay of empirical genetic research. The simple theoretical model of Edwards (2003) has enabled a clear elucidation of the effect of additional markers on average classification error. The present paper describes a mathematical generalization necessary to alleviate an oversimplification , but at the same time revealing an inherent drawback of the s...
9 Citations Source Cite
Cited By14
Newest
Published on Jan 1, 2019
Christopher M. Stojanowski18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Arizona State University)
Social media is awash with the latest discoveries about the human past. Headlines read: “DNA of ancient skeleton linked to modern indigenous peoples,” “Ancient DNA suggests the first Americans sidestepped the glaciers,” and “Ancient DNA reveals secrets of human history.” These headlines all come from respected outlets with a connection to the academic community (Smithsonian, Science, and Nature, respectively). However, news media outlets with a more popular audience have also become interested i...
Source Cite
Abstract Neven Sesardic has recently defended his arguments in favour of racial naturalism—the view that race is a valid biological category—in response to my criticism of his work. While Sesardic claims that a strong version of racial naturalism can survive critique, he has in fact weakened his position considerably. He concedes that conventional racial taxonomy is arbitrary and he no longer identifies ‘races’ as human subspecies. Sesardic now relies almost entirely on Theodosius Dobzhansky's n...
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2015in Science Education 3.04
Brian M. Donovan6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Stanford University)
Even though human racial difference has been a longstanding topic of the school biology curriculum, there is little evidence that contemporary biology textbooks challenge stereotypical racial beliefs that are based in biological thinking. Rather, the modern biology curriculum may be a place where such beliefs about race are perpetuated unwittingly. Drawing upon a theoretical framework of racial conceptualization based in psychological essentialism, this paper argues that biology textbook curricu...
11 Citations Source Cite
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of California, Santa Cruz),
Roberta L. Millstein11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of California, Davis),
Rasmus Nielsen108
Estimated H-index: 108
(University of California, Berkeley)
Source Cite
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of California, Santa Cruz),
Ryan Giordano3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of California, Berkeley)
+ 1 AuthorsRasmus Nielsen108
Estimated H-index: 108
(University of California, Berkeley)
Scientists use models to understand the natural world, and it is important not to conflate model and nature. As an illustration, we distinguish three different kinds of populations in studies of ecology and evolution: theoretical, laboratory, and natural populations, exemplified by the work of R. A. Fisher, Thomas Park, and David Lack, respectively. Biologists are rightly concerned with all three types of populations. We examine the interplay between these different kinds of populations, and the...
13 Citations Source Cite
Abstract In this paper, I respond to four common semantic and metaphysical objections that philosophers of race have launched at scholars who interpret recent human genetic clustering results in population genetics as evidence for biological racial realism. I call these objections ‘the discreteness objection’, ‘the visibility objection’, ‘the very important objection’, and ‘the objectively real objection.’ After motivating each objection, I show that each one stems from implausible philosophical...
8 Citations Source Cite
Abstract In this paper, I draw upon debates about race in biology and philosophy as well as the concepts of ineliminable pluralism and psychological essentialism to outline the necessary subject matter knowledge that teachers should possess if they desire to: (i) increase student understanding of scientific research on genetic and behavioral variation in humans; and (ii) attenuate inegalitarian beliefs about race amongst students.
10 Citations Source Cite
Michael D. Edge10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Stanford University),
Noah A. Rosenberg47
Estimated H-index: 47
(Stanford University)
Researchers in many fields have considered the meaning of two results about genetic variation for concepts of “race.” First, at most genetic loci, apportionments of human genetic diversity find that worldwide populations are genetically similar. Second, when multiple genetic loci are examined, it is possible to distinguish people with ancestry from different geographical regions. These two results raise an important question about human phenotypic diversity: To what extent do populations typical...
9 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2015
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther14
Estimated H-index: 14
,
Roberta L. Millstein11
Estimated H-index: 11
,
Rasmus Nielsen108
Estimated H-index: 108
39 Citations
Published on Jan 1, 2015
David Ludwig4
Estimated H-index: 4
(VU University Amsterdam)
This chapter discusses three case studies of conceptual relativity in scientific practice and their philosophical implications. I argue that scientists with different explanatory interests often recognize different patterns and therefore rely on different ontologies. I specify this claim by discussing three case studies (species, extended cognition, and intelligence) that illustrate conceptual relativity in the empirical sciences. I conclude that there is not only one correct answer to the quest...
Source Cite